"As a result of my thirty years as a professional designer of acoustic horns for PA, recording studio, and home high fidelity use, I've designed a series of conical horns for the most accurate sound reproduction possible. Individually hand made and based on rigorous acoustic testing, AH! horns feature a build quality second to none. AH! horns provide exceptional performance with modern, vintage, or total horn loaded systems. Lifelike realism, and timeless design, Acoustic Horn systems may well be your final upgrade."
Ah! Horns are the last link to make a significant sonic upgrade to these rare non-replaceable drivers. They truly are not making them like that anymore.
These are vintage drivers from my personal collection, but I am sharing them with you not for the sake of curiosity, but because I think they are better sounding drivers than nearly anything made today. One reason these older drivers sound better is probably that they were not made to with today's power handling requirements in mind. Older drivers have tighter gap tolerances, aluminum diaphragms, and paper acetate glues voice coil bobbins. This precision was traded away for power handling in modern drivers. Modern drivers are rarely used below 1500Hz, so the voice quality is altered from the 500Hz cut off of older drivers.
These drivers inspired me to build my own horns, and I have designs for any of the drivers shown, and can recommend to you how to implement them. You can now make your own speaker system that will exceed just about anything available commercially today, and at far higher prices, too.
JBL 1” drivers, models 175 or 2410 - These must have an aluminum diaphragm. These are a real favorite of mine, because....... With the smaller diaphragm than their larger brethren such as the JBL 375, they extend much higher in frequency. These work very well with the AH! 1000 horn.
The famous Altec theatre driver, model 288. Different versions exist. This is a 1.4" throat that works well with my Ah!700 horns, or AH! 300 horns.
Very rare James B Lansing driver - made just before he merged with Altec. It is like an Altec 288, but has an outside ring magnet. I have never seen another one. Sounds better than the Altec versions.
The legendary Western Electric 555w. Where it all began. It can be used with my new horn throat, as it has a very specific 5/8” opening that ordinarily can only be used with Western Electric horns or with special custom mounting plates. Works well with the AH! 300 horn.
Very unusual, has very small throat for a 2" diaphragm.
Has adjustable plug to match rear chamber to any horn load.
This is the post war RCA permanent magnet theater driver which came in various models (explanation of alnico here.) Some model numbers include RCA MI 9584 and 9485. This driver used a phenolic dome and will extend very low, for example to 250 or 300hz. This is a great sounding driver and the most under-appreciated and overlooked in my opinion. Can be used with great success on my new AH! 300 conical horn from 300hz.
(Western Electric) Military speaker use on special 4-way throat for high power portable sound. Similar to the W.E. “Beachmaster”. Used 175 watt Tube am with Collins transmitting tubes. One of my favorite voice speakers.
Notice driver opening is broached from a circle to a square.
Theater driver with a ring radiator diaphragm
RCA 1428B. Finest sounding driver ever made, and used a unique phenolic cone diaphram which is totally different from the WE and JBL path of compression driver design. This driver sounds incredible from 300hz up on my new cast conical and wood AH! 300 horn. Effortless, detailed and natural sounding. There is only one speaker which is better, the new Cogent DS1428 driver, which was modeled after the RCA 1428b.
“Blockheads” - one is a hyperbolic horn made of cement for vibration tests.... the other... well...